Artichoke Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

I am always on the look-out for weeknight dinner recipes that are quick and easy but also delicious enough to serve to company on the weekend if I wanted to. This one fits the bill. It’s also a one pan dinner which equals quick and easy clean-up as well.

This dish has great flavor. I love the combination of the artichoke and mushroom with the mustard vinaigrette. I hope you enjoy it, too!

artichoke chicken with mustard vinaigrette, gluten grain dairy free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts (thighs/legs would do great, too)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of brown mustard 
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (If you aren’t familiar with this, it’s basically just a fabulous blend of spices – I use it for practically everything.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper. Arrange the artichokes on the bottom of the pan, place the onions next, then the mushrooms.
  3. Lay the chicken on top of the veggies.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine and mix the mustard, garlic, oil, vinegar, wine and spices. Pour this mixture over your chicken. I let mine marinate in this for about an hour before placing it in the oven, but you certainly can skip that step.
  5. Cook for about 45 minutes. *If your chicken pieces are on the thinner side, check your chicken for doneness around the 30 minute point, you definitely don’t want to overcook it. However, the thicker pieces may need to cook for as long as an hour.
  6. Serve hot and pile all the veggie goodness on top of your chicken. Hope you like it!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from The Chew.

Pulled Pork Tacos with Mexican Cauliflower “rice” (gluten / grain / dairy free, paleo)

This has become one of our favorite meals.  One thing I’ve learned since taking on this Paleo challenge is how to be creative in the kitchen.  I’ve trashed all the ideas I used to have about the way food was “supposed to be” and am learning how to cook differently. Take these tacos for example.  The shell is lettuce, the rice is cauliflower, and there are no beans or cheese.  Ok fine, there is a little tiny bit of raw goat cheese.  Couldn’t resist it. But still. My point.  Thinking outside the box has resulted in the best food ever to come out of my kitchen. As long as my spice drawer is fully stocked, and my fridge is full of meat and veggies I’m good to go. And any meal that starts with sizzling garlic and onion is gonna be good. That is just simple truth.

Bear with me a little on this recipe.  Or at least use your own creative cooking freedom. There are a lot of components to this.  They are all hard to mess up – so just go with it. Add a little more of this, a little less of that.  It will be good.  Promise.

pulled pork tacos with mexican cauliflower %22rice%22

INGREDIENTS: (pulled pork)
METHOD: (pulled pork)
  1. Put onion in the bottom of slow cooker.  Add pork roast.  Top with garlic and spices.  Fill with water until pork is submerged about half way.  Cover, turn on high, and let cook for 4-6 hours until pork is fork tender and pulls apart easily.
INGREDIENTS: (mexican cauliflower “rice”)
METHOD: (mexican cauliflower “rice”)
  1. Grate raw cauliflower either in food processor, or with handheld cheese grater.  It should be coarsely grated, like long grain rice, and not overly fine – like couscous.  If you grate it too small, it will be soggy.
  2. Heat olive oil in large sautée pan.  Throw in onion and garlic and sautée until golden and fragrant.
  3. Add cauliflower “rice” and ssautée over high heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add in remaining ingredients.  Sautée on high for another 2 minutes until fully incorporated.  You may have to pour off a little extra moisture from cauliflower and tomato.
  5. Done!  Make sure not to over cook, will become too mushy rather quick.  High heat, short period of time is the way to go.  Almost like flash frying it real fast.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
  1. Set up assembly line with all your fixin’s – some options:  lettuce for shells, sautéed onions and peppers, guacamole or sliced avocado, salsa, fresh cilantro, lime slices… and don’t forget your “rice” and pork.
  2. Assemble tacos.  Consume.  I like my “rice” on the side.  Husband and bro-in-law prefer it inside the taco lettuce shell.  Doesn’t matter what you do as long as you like it.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
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Homemade Ketchup (gluten / sugar free, paleo)

I used to by the Costco pack of ketchup.  Yep.  The one with high fructose corn syrup, GMO sugar, corn syrup, and “natural flavors” – what does that even mean, “natural flavors”?  Then, about a year ago we switched to an organic brand, thus eliminating a few of the above ingredients, but still containing sugar.  We just did a really, really strict Paleo challenge through our gym, and weren’t able to eat any sugar.  Like none.  Not even naturally occurring fruit sugar.  Welp, husband loooooves ketchup, so I started making my own.  Everytime we ran out, I’d google ‘ketchup’ and ended up trying all different recipes. Some were good, some were so bad.  Now, I’ve taken bits and pieces from the 7 different recipes I tried and came up with my own.  It is perfect for us.  Made to taste just the way we like it.  Husband loves it still, the one kid that likes ketchup loves it, and it has converted me into a ketchup consumer.  Didn’t use to care for the stuff, but as long as it is this recipe, I like it.  Hope you like it too!

homemade ketchup, gluten free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
  • 24 oz strained tomatoes (we use Bionature Organic brand)
  • 7 oz tomato paste (we use Bionature Organic brand)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or maple, or honey…. or completely omit like us)
METHOD:
1.  Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
2.  Allow to cool, store in air tight container in refrigerator.
3.  This recipe fills almost 2 mason jars.  It makes quite a bit.  Not sure how long it keeps because we eat it so fast, but if you are worried about it, 1/2 the recipe.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Sweet Potato + Leek Cakes, with Yogurt Sauce

Erin brought these delicious cakes to my house for dinner over the summer and I believe I have made them three times since. They are so yummy and so beautiful. The first time I made them we just ate them by themselves with the yogurt sauce drizzled over the top. The second and third times, we have placed the cakes on a bed of mixed greens, topped with a fried egg and then drizzled the yogurt sauce on top… our favorite way to eat them, for sure.

The recipe is from Sprouted Kitchen – if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, we strongly recommend it. Her new cookbook is a beautiful piece of art, too. She cooks mostly vegetarian, whole, real foods and the photos of her food are breathtaking. I followed this recipe of hers step-by-step, so she gets all the praise for this one!

I doubled the recipe so we could have leftovers through the week and it made about 20 smallish cakes. The ingredients below need to be doubled if you wish to do the same.

sweet potato + leek cakes with yogurt sauce

INGREDIENTS: (sweet potato cakes)
  • 1 3/4 lbs sweet potatoes (I baked mine, then peeled them and set aside to cool)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or coconut oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (gluten-free oat flour if you need it to be GF)
  • 1 egg, whisked
METHOD: (sweet potato cakes)
  1. Either bake or boil your sweet potatoes until softened and set aside to cool.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking/cooling, in a large pan melt your coconut oil or butter and cook the chopped leeks over medium heat until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes. Once they are ready, set them aside and let them cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the sweet potatoes, tamari, garlic, red pepper flakes, whisked egg, and flour and mix together with the cooled leeks until combined.
  4. Over medium to medium high heat in a large pan, melt enough coconut oil/ butter to completely coat the pan. Form your patties from 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato-leek mixture and flatten a bit with a spoon once in the pan. If your patties are too wet/sticky to work with, add a bit more flour until they are only “tacky” feeling and not wet. You don’t want them to fall apart in the pan.
  5. Keep an eye on the oil in your pan, if it gets too dry your patties will stick to the pan and most likely scorch – but they’ll be beautifully crisped if you keep up with the oil/butter. Let each patty cook for about 7-8 minutes or until they look nice and browned.
  6. Place cooked cakes on a paper towel lined plate to blot off excess oil while you finish cooking the rest. Serve the cakes warm with the yogurt sauce drizzled on top or on the side. These are amazing on a bed of lettuce with a fried egg! But they are just as yummy on their own! Enjoy.
INGREDIENTS: (yogurt sauce)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, or plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or basil
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
METHOD: (yogurt sauce)
  1. Add the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until combined.
  2. Add the herbs and chopped shallot to the yogurt mixture and pulse until the mixed.
  3. Can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Taken from Sprouted Kitchen.

Greek Lamb Burgers

I was at PCC a few weeks ago, and noticed 100% Grass Fed Lamb.  I’ve never cooked with lamb before, but I remembered seeing a recipe in Everyday Paleo for lamb burgers. Thank goodness for smart phones, I looked up the ingredients, dreamed up some sides to accompany the lamb, and headed home to start cooking.  These are so good.  I’ve now made them 4 times, served them to company 3 times, and generally just love them.  The fresh mint pairs with the lamb perfectly.  And the spices mixed in do not disappoint.  They are so flavorful!  And any meat that can be grilled is my fav way to go – less dishes, more delicious.  I also recently learned of an amazing Greek salad dressing, which I will share soon.  These patties are perfect with a salad and some grilled mushrooms and olives.  Oh, and we eat these without a bun, and don’t make any dipping sauces for them – but a tzatziki sauce would be perfect with them!

greek lamb burgers, grain free, paleo, dairy free, primal

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound 100% grass-fed ground lamb (this is a great one for leftovers – I usually double everything!) 
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 egg
METHOD:
1.  Combine everything in a large bowl and mix until combined.
2.  Form into patties.  I usually get about 10 burgers, but prefer them on the smaller side.
3.  Grill over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then flip and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes longer.  They cook quick, especially if you make them as small as I do.
4.  If you want a great side to go with these, throw some mushrooms and olives in your grill basket (you could skewer them, too) and set that on the BBQ alongside the lamb.  Something about grilling those makes them even more delicious than they already are.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Everyday Paleo.

Whole Grain Cornbread

As promised with the Jambalaya post, this is the whole grain cornbread that accompanied that delicious dish. It was the perfect match. This cornbread also goes amazingly well with the Chipotle Black Bean Chili or any kind of chili for that matter.

I don’t use a lot of corn meal normally, so I just bought what the recipe called for from the bulk bins, that way I didn’t have a bunch leftover just hanging out in my cabinet getting stale.  Make sure to get organic, whole grain corn meal to get the maximum nutrients, as well as to avoid genetically modified corn.

This recipe has just the right amount of sweetness that you’re used to with cornbread, but is naturally sweetened with just a bit of 100% pure maple syrup. I also love the whole corn kernels and the cheddar cheese. Yum. Deliciousness. Hope you like it!

whole grain cornbread

INGREDIENTS:
  •  2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain corn meal, preferably organic (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream (see our take on fats here)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Whisk your dry ingredients together.
3. Over medium heat, melt your butter and whisk in 1 tablespoon of the flour until it begins to brown, make sure it doesn’t get too brown or burn, though. Add the frozen corn kernels and let them thaw about a minute. Add the heavy cream and whisk the mixture until it begins to get thick and creamy, this should take a few minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and remove pan from heat.
4. Add the already beaten eggs, sour cream and grated cheese to the creamed corn mixture and add all of this to the dry ingredients. Mix together without over-mixing.
5. Pour your batter into a greased baking dish (I used a non-stick jelly-roll pan the first time and a square glass Pyrex dish the second time and I liked the glass dish better, but that’s just my preference.)
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Taken from 100 Days of Real Food.

Jalapeno Dijon Grilled Chicken

I’m always on the lookout for easy marinades for chicken.  I love eating it, but sometimes get stuck in my same boring chicken routines.  This recipe is easy, and freakishly good.  You combine everything, throw in the chicken, let it sit for a few hours, and then grill it up.  It is spicy, a bit tangy, and the chicken was so moist.  Give it a try!

jalapeno dijon grilled chicken

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 lbs organic chicken breasts (or thighs, whichever you prefer)
  • 4 jalapenos, diced (no need to seed, unless you want less spice)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
METHOD:
1.  Combine all the above ingredients, except for the lemon juice, cover, and place in refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
2.  Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
3.  Grill chicken for 7-10 minutes per side, or until meat thermometer inserted into middle of chicken registers 175 degrees F.
4.  Remove chicken from grill and place on plate.  Squeeze lemon juice over chicken, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 more minutes.
5.  Serve, alongside side of your choice, and enjoy!  We ate it with heaping piles of roasted broccoli.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking.